Fuzzy-headedness, not harmful shifts during pregnancy

While Mayo Clinic expert, Dr. Myra Wick,  says “there isn’t enough information to support the existence of baby brain,” she defines it as “harmful” while most neuro-scientists, including first-time mother, Dr. Elizabeth Meyer, identify it as “fuzzy-headed.”  If it exists, clinicians and researchers agree that it’s temporary.  It last no more than a couple of years.

Dr. Elseline Hoekzema at Leiden University (Netherlands) was the first to find the “maternal brain restructuring” not seen in fathers or the same women before they became pregnant.  It is not a cognitive deficit.  She suspects it is a shift in neural functioning to to increase “parental motivation” and “protective instincts.”

And it may not be restricted to mothers following birth!  Dr. Ruth Feldman of Bar-Ilan University (Israel) found that fathers who provided primary child care mimicked “mothers’ brain,”  though they defaulted back to business-as-usual when mother’s took charge.

“The mammalian brain (male and female) possesses a dramatic ability to shape shift when life demands it.” – Dr. Elizabeth Meyer

References

Desautels, C.B. (2016). Does pregnancy brain exist? Scientific American at https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-pregnancy-brain-exist/ 

Hoekzema, E., Barba-Muller, E., Pozzobon, C., Picado, M., Lucco, F., Garcia-Garcia, D., Soliva, J.C., Tobena, A., Desco, M., Crone, E., Ballesteros, A., Carmona, S., & Vilarryoa, O. (2017). Pregnancy leads to long-lasting changes in human brain structure. Nature Neuroscience, 20, 287-296.

Kinsley, C.H., & Meyer, E.A. (2012). Maternal mentality. Scientific American. Retrieved from  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/maternal-mentality-2012-10-23/ 

von Hopffgarten, A. (2017). In baby mode. Scientific American Mind. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/in-baby-mode/

Wick, M. (2015). Does “baby brain” really exist? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/baby-brain/faq-20057896

 

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